Turkey joins IEA-led push to release 120 million barrels of oil to cool prices

Turkey is on the list of members of the International Energy Agency (IEA) that will contribute to collective action to release crude and oil products from emergency stocks to target energy prices that have skyrocketed since Russia invaded Ukraine.

On Thursday, the Paris-based organization confirmed that new pledges by its member countries amount to a total of 120 million barrels to be released over six months to help cool global oil prices, the largest release of any the group’s history.

The stock release by the IEA’s allied U.S. members, comprising 31 mostly industrialized nations but not Russia, would be their second coordinated release in a month and would be the fifth in the agency’s history to cope with the disruption of the oil market.

It is the largest publication from non-IEA countries, surpassing the largest publication from the United States. The United States will match the 60 million barrel draw tapped by other IEA countries in its 180 million barrel draw from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve announced by President Joe Biden in late March.

The United States said it would release 1 million barrels of oil a day from its strategic reserves to help lower gas prices and fight inflation across the country.

Over the next six months, the IEA said around 240 million barrels of emergency oil stocks, equivalent to more than one million barrels per day, will be made available to the global market. .

“The unprecedented decision to launch two emergency oil stockpile releases one month apart and on a larger scale than ever before in IEA history reflects the determination of member countries to protect the economy. social and economic impacts of an oil shock following Russia’s aggression against Ukraine,” said IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol.

“This latest collective action once again demonstrates the unity of IEA member countries in their solidarity with Ukraine and their determination to ensure stability in the oil market during this difficult time,” Birol noted.

“Events in Ukraine are becoming more distressing by the day, and IEA action at this time is needed to ease some of the tensions in the energy markets.”

Global oil prices were heading for their second weekly decline, with Brent falling around $10 to under $100 a barrel since the United States announced its biggest release of oil reserves in late March.

Prices hit 14-year highs last month as Western sanctions on Russia disrupted exports of crude and petroleum products from the world’s second-largest crude exporter.

Russia is the world’s third largest oil producer, with around 60% of exports to Europe and 20% to China.

The United States has banned all Russian energy supplies, while the United Kingdom has said it will phase out Russian oil and coal by the end of the year and stop imports of natural gas “as soon as possible”.

The European Union on Thursday approved a ban on Russian coal, its first action against Russian energy supplies on which it depends to generate electricity, power industry and refuel diesel-powered vehicles and equipment.

According to the list that was made available on Thursday, Japan, the second-largest contributor after the United States, said it would release a record 15 million barrels as part of the IEA-led action.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters late Thursday that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was “unforgivable” and that the release would help lower oil prices.

“We must not forgive his invasion and his war crimes. We will demonstrate our will through tough actions,” he said.

Japan held about 470 million barrels of oil reserves at the end of January, equivalent to 236 days of domestic consumption, in state reserves, reserves held by refiners and a joint crude oil storage system with producing countries.

The IEA list revealed that Turkey would release more than 3 million barrels of crude oil or petroleum products. New Zealand said it would also contribute to the release of crude oil and diesel.

“Our release is made up of approximately 184,000 barrels of crude oil held in Spain and nearly 299,000 barrels of diesel held in the UK,” said New Zealand Minister for Energy and Resources Megan Woods. , in a press release.

“There has been a great deal of volatility in global oil markets since the invasion and this new action, coupled with the United States’ decision to release 180 million barrels of oil over the next six months, will help bring some relief. some certainty to the market,” Woods said.

The other main contributors are South Korea, Germany, France, Italy and Great Britain.

At the start of the Russian invasion, IEA member countries held 1.5 billion barrels of public reserves and about 575 million barrels under obligations to industry, according to the IEA.

Thus, this year, the two collective actions of the IEA of 62.7 million barrels, which were agreed at the beginning of March, and of 120 million barrels represent 9% of the total emergency reserves.

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Sharon P. Juarez